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Editors’ Picks: These are the Must-Read Denim Stories of 2019

This year, the denim industry saw major changes that are bound to have lasting effects for years to come. From denim trends pieces to the political leanings of jeans shoppers, these are some of the stories Rivet editors consider to be their favorites of 2019.

A Recession Is Coming and the Denim Industry Can’t Repeat History

If 2008 can teach the denim industry anything, it’s that the apparel category is not immune to a recession. As experts warn that another one is on the way, leaders across the industry are attempting to make their business more stable this time around. See what they’re doing to prepare here.

Why Mom Jeans Are Universally Loved by Women

The high-waisted, relaxed fit jeans that were trendy in the ’90s came back in full swing in 2019—and it’s not just moms who adore them. From supermodels to members of the royal family, mom jeans have been a closet staple for decades, thanks to their effortlessly cool style. Read more here.

In Fashion, Tie-Dye Is the Great Democratizer

Fashion is viewed through a multi-colored lens this summer, thanks to the rising popularity of tie-dye. Find out here how the dye technique became the focal point of warm-weather collections for mass retailers and high-end designers.

A German Consumer Magazine Claims Women’s Jeans are Dirty, but the Denim Industry Disagrees

Though denim brands, mills and government organizations have been working to improve sustainability efforts for years, some critics still feel it’s not enough. German consumer magazine Öko-Test published a report accusing some of the leading denim brands of failing in certain areas of sustainability. See how the denim industry responded to the findings here.

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Meghan Markle Says a Lot About Sustainable and Ethical Denim Without Uttering a Word

One of the year’s most influential icons from a social and fashion standpoint, Meghan Markle uses her platform for good. On a number of occasions, she’s been spotted in ethical clothing—she’s worn pieces from sustainable designer Stella McCartney, vegan footwear brand Veja, and Los Angeles-based Reformation, a brand known for upcycling deadstock fabric. Read more here.

The Wall Street Journal published a report detailing the political views of Levi’s and Wrangler’s customer bases.
President Donald Trump Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock

New Report Shows Political Leanings of Levi’s, Wrangler Shoppers

It turns out it’s not just Markle whose favorite denim brands reflect a deeper message. Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal published a report detailing the political leanings of those who wear Levi’s and Wrangler—two of the oldest denim brands. Try to guess the leanings of each brand’s following here.

Product Donations Are Another Way Denim Brands Can Promote Sustainability

What the fashion industry does with unsold goods can have a major impact on the world. While some brands have destroyed billions of dollars in garments in the past, there’s been a new push to recycle and re-use these items in 2019. Read more about the concept here.

Denim Mills Show Confidence in Recycled Fibers but Will Brands Follow?

Recycle and re-use was a hot topic in 2019, with a number of mills turning to recycled fabric to make significant strides in sustainability. Despite these efforts, only a reported 5 percent of U.S. brands are requesting recycled fabric. Read more about the findings here.

How Woodstock and the Kardashian-Jenners Will Influence Festival Fashion This Year

Festival fashion is on an evolution from flower crowns to become an apparel season all its own. Here, trend experts share how prairie fashion, reality television stars and musicians are influencing young concert goers.

Experts: Responsible Fashion Falls on Consumers and Media, Too

Sustainability is not just a problem for brands and mills. A lot of the responsibility also falls on consumers, media professionals and politicians. From sustainability education to regulations for eco-friendly practices and responsible consumption, the move toward a healthier industry requires everyone to get onboard. Learn more here.

Why are Teen Denim Retailers Selling CBD-Infused Products?

In the case of introducing CBD products to its assortment, specialty denim retailers like American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch appear to have a leg up on big-box retailers like Walmart and Target. Learn why here.

CBD oil
CBD oil Shutterstock

Vidalia Mills CEO: If Made in America Model Works, Others May Follow

For Vidalia Mills Co. CEO Dan Feibus, it’s not just about leading a successful startup—it’s about creating an example the entire industry can adopt. His goal of manufacturing premium denim in the U.S. is a lofty one, considering other American mills such as Cone Denim and DNA Textile Group have shut down in previous years. Learn how Feibus is building a sustainable Made in America model here.

Is True Religion Designer Denim’s Comeback Kid?

A premium denim brand that launched in 2002, True Religion experienced hardships—including bankruptcy—during the recession of 2008. But now, 17 years after entering the market, the brand is back with new leadership and a modern look. Learn how it made its comeback here.

How Jeans Became a Symbol of Youth Empowerment During the Cold War

Nearly 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, denim experts look back at how jeans became a symbol of youth empowerment. Learn more here.